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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

I keep a separate gallery app around just to be able to upload specific pictu…

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/10/20

Smart tip:

I keep a separate gallery app around just to be able to upload specific pictures to +Google Photos​ because there is no option to do so from the Photos

Via: [WayBack] I keep a separate gallery app around just to be able to… … – Roderick Gadellaa – Google+


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Posted in Android Devices, Google, Google Photos, Power User | Leave a Comment »

AI in Voice Assistants: I’m not impressed

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/10/06

I started thinking about writing this post way before [WayBack] When +Google Assistant gets a mind of their own… – Jeroen Wiert Pluimers – Google+.

Though I’ll focus on Google Assistant, the competition (Alexa, Cortana, Siri) have about the same level of incompetence.

Though living in The Netherlands, I use the English version of Google Assistant as it won’t be available in the foreseeable future: [WayBack] Google Assistant in het Nederlands voorlopig toekomstmuziek.

This means that I cannot use Dutch words for destinations, but find English ones.

  • This fails: navigate to Schiphol trainstation
  • This works: navigate to Amsterdam Airport Arrivals

The odd thing is that after switching phones, the latter wants to perform this navigation by public traffic, whereas my former phone it would default to navigation for driving by car.

Basically the only interactions that work sort of OK are calling persons and navigating to places.


  • what's my next appointment succeeds
  • what's my current appointment (in case you are late, for instance because of traffic conditions) fails

Calling persons

This allows for aliases to persons like my wife, my brother and my mother. But often it:

  • forgets about an alias asking who that alias is for
  • asks for confirmation of an alias
  • totally misses the alias (so when asking to call my wife mobile, it sometimes presents search results, for instance on “How to spy on my wife’s calls tracking for free”)

After defining these aliases, these actions usually work OK:

  • call my brother mobile
  • call my mother at home

Navigation to places

Contrary to calling, where you can define many aliases, you can only define 2 navigation aliases: home and work. Which means these all fail:

  • navigate to my brother at work
  • navigate to my mother at home

Heck, even the simple variations fail:

  • navigate to my brother
  • navigate to my mother

A cool feature would be navigate to my next appointment, but that fails too. No surprise though, as the simpler navigation commands fail.

The best way I found to navigate is to – just before you leave – search on Google Maps in your browser for the route, then open Navigation on your phone (this presumes they use the same account).

Also, since switching phones, I have to indicate how I want to navigate:

  • navigate home by car
  • navigate to Amsterdam Airport Arrivals by car

Stuff that hardly works

Starting applications is a pain.

Examples that work

  • start pokemon go

These work unreliably:

  • start navigation sometimes opens the map, but at other times asks where to navigate to

These fail at all:

  • start dialer (opens a Google search, but fails to start the stock Android Dialer App)
  • start ex-dialer (my dialer of choice: ExDialer)
  • start player FM (fails to locate Player.FM)

Conclusion so far

It is far from intuitive what kinds of phrases will work, sometimes work or will fail.

I could do a search for how to better phrase my requests, but average users won’t

The Google Voice Assistant still has a long way to go to become useable.


Posted in Google, Google AI, Power User | 2 Comments »

Reminder to self: find out how to disable YouTube auto-play in Chrome 60 and up

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/09/08

Somewhere around Chrome 60, this extension stopped to work for YouTube videos: Disable HTML5 Autoplay – Chrome Web Store.

It’s [WayBackunmaintained now as Google is supposed to work on an own disable-autoplay function, but this fails too:

More reading:


Posted in Chrome, Google, Power User | Leave a Comment »

Play to Chromecast from VLC 3.0 on Mac OS X (OS X, macOS, or whatever other names apple comes up with)

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/08/14

On my Mac OS X machine, I got this to work with the 20170731 nightly of VLC 3.0.

[WayBackHow to stream from VLC to Your Chromecast (3.0 Updated Version) – VLC Media Player only explains the steps for Windows and Android, probably because they were the first platforms supported by VLC to render on Chromecast: [WayBackHow to Stream Videos from VLC to Chromecast (Including on Windows, Mac & Android) / [WayBackHow to Stream From VLC to Your Chromecast

To make it easier for end-users, on other platforms the menu entries are different.

  • Windows: Menu Video -> Render
  • Mac: Menu Playback -> Renderer (not Render as shown in some posts)
  • Linux: No UI yet.

I found this via [WayBackLatest VLC 3 Nightly Streams to Chromecast Perfectly! : Chromecast and [WayBackHow do I stream to Chromecast using VLC? – Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

On Linux, there is the command-line for now (which works on OS X and Windows as well), or if you insist: use MKChromecast as described in [WayBackHow To Cast Video from Ubuntu to a Chromecast – OMG! Ubuntu!. [WayBack]Mkchromecast This is a program to cast your macOS X, or Linux audio to your Google Cast or Sonos devices with sources at

On Windows and Mac OS X, after choosing the Render, the steps are the same:

  1. Choose Render discovery on
  2. Choose a Chromecast device
  3. Accept the security certificate for it

Download: [WayBack via [WayBack

I didn’t need [WayBack] 


Posted in Chromecast, Google, Media, Media Streaming, Power User, Video | Leave a Comment »

Remember when G+ search was useful? It again is.

Posted by jpluimers on 2017/08/04

The big G+ news this week was that they brought back search, years after they made the G+ search useless, so jokes like at [WayBackIkey Doherty – Google+ “Remember when G+ search was useful?” finally can be left behind us.

Now that they finally made it useful again, I’m happy with it.

A few example searches to get the hang of the URL syntax:

News sources:

  • [WayBackKristian Köhntopp – Google+: I would not have thought it possible, but after just several years of user feedback Google actually unfucked the search. It’s almost as awesome as their adblocker – absolutely essential, but too little, too late.
  • [WayBackJaana Nyström – Google+: WOOHOOOOOO! The Classic Google+ style search is back! Now one can again search their own posts, even hashtag search works better. Top post vs. latest function, too. ❤️
  • [WayBackRoderick Gadellaa – Google+: #thatsaplus
  • [WayBack] Anna Kiyantseva – Google+: …we’re rolling out a bevy of improvements to G+ Search — most visibly, you’ll find that typing into the search bar no longer interrupts your search attempts by taking you to Explore. That means that your results get to you that much faster!That’s not all…
    • A new, tabbed interface will make it easier for you to find the exact type of content that you’re looking for.
    • In the posts tab, you can filter based on the post author. Finally, you can look back at your many years of G+ posting without being distracted by everyone else’s Neko Atsume updates!
    • Popular Topics are now displayed in the search bar dropdown.As always, let us know what you think and we hope you enjoy!


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Posted in G+: GooglePlus, Google, Power User, SocialMedia | Leave a Comment »

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